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plane and i tired to find out something about his own spiritual journey. and i learned that when the changes took place after the second vatican council, this man felt no longer at home in church and he eventually just stopped going to church. now this was a religious man he had a little alter next to his bed, there was a little standing crucifix, he had flowers there were little plastic flowers there, he said now that he had to stay downstairs and his hospital bed was downstairs he missed his little alter up stairs. so, this was a new insight for me because i felt very much like susanna. i was grateful that
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the liturgy was in english, so that i would be able to truly participate, not just feel good but to have my whole self my intellect as well as my emotions involved. >> you see that's part, exactly what i'm talking about with these dilemmas of institutionalization, is that's the struggle on that particular one. well let me take you to first off tabor lutheran church. now, the key point is here is a lot of stuff that we've wound together might be a kind of a tangled web at this point, but first we'll hear from rev. lowe and then from sheryl pero. and listen to them speak about the context; listen to their intuitive understanding of their place in the community, and yet at the same time see how they are keeping their religion which in this case is christianity vital but they are meeting the needs in the community. and that's what we are trying to get at looking at this religious ecology theme and why they're so successful. so, rev. lowe
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at tabor lutheran church. we're here with rev. lowe at the tabor lutheran church, with a lot of good friends here, also. let me ask rev. lowe, this is a lutheran church and you think about lutheranism and you think back to europe and you think about welsh, swedish, german congregations, but this is a dynamite black church how - tell me a little bit about that. >> well it's only dynamite because we understand first who we are. we are black first, we are christians second and we happen to have chosen lutheran as our denomination. and we don't get that mixed up, that's always in place. so, with that in place we can have a black church and still be lutheran too and still reach out to the community. >> tell us a little bit about how you affect the community. i mean there is stuff going on all around here i can tell. >> well it started 16 years ago when i first came. in this same room i had a meeting with the counsel about 15 whites, average age, of about 70.
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and as i as having the meeting to accept this call, i looked around and every window here was boarded up. what those people had done they had locked themselves in. swedes, they had locked themselves in, nothing could get in, and nothing could get out. so i knew that night, when i accept this call that something had to be done. and the very next day, we started working, because we do know what the community needs; we do know what the black church speaks for and we were able to go and they helped me and found out one thing that it was not as bad as they thought. they noticed that from time to time, i'd rub my hands and see nothing could come off, it didn't come off we are good. so what we are able to do now, we try to hold on to a little of their history, so they wouldn't be just wiped out and we brought our history in and we mixed that up together and the rest is history.
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we became that church, that lig on the hill; that could speak to both communities. >> so, that would be into your mind about the heart of the christian doctrine. it's getting out there and helping your fellow human beings. >> evangelism; and the church, the black church see has to speak. the black church has to cover all facets. we are employment agencies, we're doctors, we are lawyers, we do it all and yes on sunday morning, we become spiritual and that's where the real job is done; on sunday morning at the 11 o'clock hour. where god is still working among us. yes the black church has to speak to all facets. if it does not speak to that, then you can rest assure you didn't do your homework. >> okay, rev. lowe. thank you very much for a great interview and thank ye all you folks for stopping in. you want to say one last thing for the camera? >> say thank you. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> smile, wave. >> there you go. >> alright, terrific. >> we're with rev. sheryl pero who is a lutheran minister.
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sheryl tells us a little about your ministry here in chicago. >> i am currently the coordinator of what we call crossings ministry. crossings ministry is an attempt to harness the resources available through campus ministry, through the congregations in the south conference of the metro chicago senate of the elca, and lutheran social service of illinois. and i kind of do a little bit of everything. the thing that is most tangible about what i do is that, i'm the campus pastor at harold washington college in lute. >> have you ever had any difficulties in say as you are moving out for the ministry anythi that has ever happened that you could share with us? >> crossings is my third call. my first call was in ethnic congregation on the north side of chicago, a swedish congregation. they didn't quite know what do you with a associate pastor who was a black woman.
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and one of the men came to me at the begin on my ministry there and said; frankly i don't think you can be my pastor primarily because i've never had a pastor who wasn't white male and of a scandinavian descent. and at first, i was kind of surprised but my response to him became very positive and affirmed the fact that he could even say that. because that to me is something i can deal with. it's when people don't say things that you don't know really how to handle it. but anyway he was that honest and integrous about his approach. by the time i left there which was almost two years later he and i were the best of friends because i wasn't out to change him. i was there to be a pastor. and i guess he found out that something's are more transcendent than the sex and the gender and the race of a person. it has to do with knowing jesus christ as your personal lord and savior
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and being committed to preaching the gospel. that isn't to say there weren't other problems there, but in that particular situation, with that particular person we just had a marvelous, marvelous time. >> and that brings up another really interesting point. when we think about religions, we say lutheranism well that is a clearly identifiable denomination. but i think that's i think a misunderstanding that we have when we deal with religion. because we have the name and we certainly have some doctrines that define lutheranism but within that you can push out the edges here and there to fit the kind of needs of the community. i see that going on in this church here tabor lutheran. can you, help us a little bit with how you can expand out lutheranism to fit what the community needs here? >> lutheranism historically has had a very broad ecumenical base and most people are not really, let me say they don't remember the kind of base on which lutheranism was built.
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the base is such that it says that we proclaim jesus christ as lord savior. now the important thing about a place like tabor is the fact that we have to be totally cognizant of the context. the context becomes the key for the way for the holy spirit operates within the community. how a pastor ministers has something to do with knowing his or her context. you cannot walk into an african american church and use a scandinavian style of leadership, you cannot walk into a scandinavian church and use an african american style of leadership. it is taking the time to know the context, to know the people, to understand the dynamics of racism, and sexism, and classism, of capitalism, to understand the dynamics,
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to know where the people are hurting because you've been able to listen to them, not to what you want to hear but to what they are saying. once you are able to accept all that and take all that and recognize that you are a servant of the lord, not a leader for the lord, but a servant of the lord, who has been called to lead a certain amount of people then you can start being a pastor. leadership in the black community is different too. let me say very briefly that that the leadership in the black community has all come out of the black church. so it becomes key even in the lutheran context, to recall the black church roots for black people. those two; the context, the history, become very, very crucial, we don't want to through out the baby with the bath water, lutheranism has a tremendous
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amount to offer in terms of being a reformed tradition going back to the notion of being a confessing church. a confessing church does what? confesses jesus christ as lord and savior, not as things and objects or even itself as lord and savior. jesus christ is the life, the truth and the way. that's how we can get out in the community because we go back to that basic, confessional, evangelical base which says that; hey, in spite of all we are led by jesuchrist and the holy spirit. >> and what you said is absolutely profound in terms of our class. you can't separate a religious organization from its community, and you can't separate the protest of jesus even back in gospel times from just what you said that intense look at injustice and that need to correct and be compassionate and caring for other human beings. >> martin king summed it up beautifully in that one sentence that we are all familiar with
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in his letter from the birmingham jail. "injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." and that says it all. let justice roll down that's what we are about. >> well sheryl thank you so much for sharing that with us, it's helped us out immensely in understanding lutheranism and protestantism. >> well thank you, thank you very much. >> see what i mean about the context, it brings me back to one of my semi-controversial statements, not that i'd ever say anything controversial, but there is no such thing as religion. i'm talking myself out of a job with that one, but you listen to sheryl pero or rev. lowe and you understand how successful they have been in meeting the needs of the community. i say there is no such thing as religion because there are religious people there are always people practicing in religion and when we move into the social dimension you get that sense it has to meet those needs.
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ultimately spirituality, religious organizations have to meet those kinds of needs. so it's a challenge though, and you see with that sociological song and dance is the reason i brought up those very typical kinds of dilemmas, the problem is that the more successful you get in leading your community the more your numbers will grow and the more things will develop and the more of those challenges you are going to have to meet. now i know you probably got several questions as you always do, you've got such great questions. hold them for a minute till we see both pieces because, the second piece in the series. now we are looking at an african american lutheran group, we heard rev. lowe say that when he first came into the ministry because the demographics in the neighborhood were changing, that was no longer a scandinavian neighborhood it was more of an african american neighborhood, he was called in as pastor and he immediately had to rectify or tear down this barrier
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that had grown up between one community and the people inside the church the leaders. so, he understood the context, he was caring about the lutheran model but he could step in and begin to develop something that made sense in the community, but maintain the integrity of the lutheranism, same with sheryl pero. now this is such a kicker i love some of these things we've gotten. but now let's move to a whole another cultural environment. out to the extremely wealthy suburbs outside of chicago where every house is about a million dollars a piece and people have another set of problems and another set of challenges. well we'll go to willow creek community church and here's one that is an interesting controversy. because rev. bill hybels about 20 years ago now want - he's a christian, he's a minister, he's just starting out and he says; "why don't people go to church?" what he does, he get a bunch of his
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younger followers they go out and actually do a marketing approach. they go to peoples houses and ask them why don't you go to church? why don't you go to church? they come back and say "well it's boring, it's irrelevant, it doesn't do anything for me." in other words for many people churches had failed at handling those dilemmas of institutionalization. but what he did, he starts out with his tiny little church but makes it interesting, makes it entertaining as you will see, makes it relevant; if you've been there but man, keeps to that very authentic rather conservative christianity that keeps that part of it alive. just a very interesting story and of course today it's one of the huge mega churches, one of these massive churches that's spinning off more. so consider the two, compare them as we are looking at them and think about tabor and how they are doing it, compare willow creek as see if can see some similarities. different ecological niche;
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to keep that model going but at the same kind of ability to survive and to adapt. so, if we could let's go to willow creek community church. wow, this is one gigantic church, willow creek community church out in the wealthy suburbs of chicago. this is a christian church but we see something different here in the relationship between the social dimension and the doctrinal dimension. one lesson we learn and it's the lesson we talked about in terms of religious ecology, is you can't really take a church out of the community and understand it by itself. churches affect communities, communities reverberate with churches and this is the case here at willow creek community church. in terms of the doctrinal dimension, we also see some influence with the social dimension. economics; in this case we're in the wealthy, beautiful suburbs outside of chicago as i mentioned and the people here come to this church because rev. bill hybels offers them a benign christian orthodoxy mixed with a kind of positive thinking.
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it's okay to be wealthy, it's good to be wealthy these are the rewards of life. now if we are in the improvised section of chicago, we're not going to find that focus in the doctrinal dimension. economics would have one believe that, well things aren't so good now but let's think about being saved, so in the next life everything will be okay. once again the relationship between the doctrinal and the social dimension. but why don't we go inside this beautiful building and find out what the folks are doing. >> good evening and welcome to willow creek, we're glad that you can join us tonight as we are starting a new series called "fit to be tied." we're going to be talking about marriage and dating and how this things affect our lives. over the next several weeks were going to have plenty of romance, high adventure, good biblical preaching coming our way and where else could you find a combination like that other than here at willow creek. so stand with me, if you would, and sing the song printed in the upper right corner of our bulleting called "steadfast love." we've all experienced the failure of human love at one time or another
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in our lives but we can take comfort in the fact that god's love is always constant and always reliable. let's sing. ♪ the steadfast love ♪ of the lord never ceases, ♪ his mercies ♪ never come to an end ♪ they are new every morning, ♪ new every morning, ♪ great is thy faithfulness ♪ oh lord, great is ♪ thy faithfulness. one more time. ♪ the steadfast love ♪ of the lord never ceases, ♪ his mercies >> we want you know and i think you already do know, that the stakes are very, very high. and we would be delighted if each of you could arrive
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at the place of taking a long thoughtful look at your own life situation and eventually being able to say, "here is what's right with this picture." and we want to begin help you do that tonight. >> oh, look who's talking, if it wasn't for you i'd be home watching "who's the boss." >> when you could be here dancing with her instead? >> hey funny, hey i though i was a good idea i thought it would be fun, i though it would be nice do something away from the kids and be alone together. >> right, hey is lisa coming alone? >> no, she's bringing some guy with her. >> oh, really. >> yes. >> the one we met at the halloween party? >> no, that was mr. october this is a new month now. [laughter] >> poor lisa she has such a hard time finding or holding on to a guy. >> a little to anxious. >> like a cat on the prowl. >> she is not. she just wants some companionship and love and security and - >> and a house mortgage. >> and saturday afternoon football. >> and microwave dinners.
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>> and sunday afternoon football. >> and using his razor to shave her legs. >> yes. >> and monday night football. ♪ maker of this ♪ heart of mine, ♪ you know me very well. ♪ you understand ♪ my deepest thoughts ♪ more than i know myself. ♪ so when i face ♪ the darkness, ♪ when i need to find my way, ♪ i will trust ♪ in you shepherd, ♪ of my heart. >> it's often said that the three most important
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decisions in a person's life concerns a person's selection of his master, his mate and then his mission in life. we spend a good portion of time here at willow creek trying to help people in our community make the right choice about their master. the first 10 weeks of our fall ministry season has been devoted to that concern. but our concerns as a church are broader than that. so for this session and the next five weekends, we're going to turn our attention to the discussion of the selection of a mate, and then the other related topics that you've been alerted to in the past programs such as improving marriage and family life and so on. and in looking out over this congregation week after week, i'm convinced that six weeks of time is warranted. as you know thousands among us are young people rapidly approaching marrying age, thousands more are right
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in the middle of the age range when most marriages occur, others among us are recently married still learning the ropes. rest of us can sit and second guess the choices we made 15, 20, 30 years ago. i attended a 50th anniversary celebration recently where an ageing husband stood up and toasted his wife for about five good years of marriage, he said. everybody laughed and then he said just joking. as so we all have something to learn in this series. "father, i pray that tonight's candor will penetrate the romantic filled notions concerning the truth of marriage. the traditional marriage vows say that marriage is not to be entered into lightly or unadvisably but reverently,
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discreetly and in the fear of god. father for unmarried people, i pray that they will perhaps buy this tape and listen to it several times, so that they can just be filled with truth about what marriage is really like and what the myths distort it to be. lord wrap your arms around unmarried people, minister to them in a way only you can. keep them from getting starry eyed and careless about the possibility of being married. and lord for those among us who are married, teach us, from what we heard tonight and what we'll hear in the future weeks, how to build that oneness factor into our marriages, into our families. have your hand on this series for jesus sake, amen"
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>> well obviously that got you going here [laughter], let me explain a few a couple of things here first. what we are talking about in terms of relevance in community first off we just had stumbled into this particular service and were just blow away. it's the best entertainment night, entertainment in chicago, that you could get and the whole relevance was that marriages and divorces are really problematic situations for people in that community. and so he structured as you heard, this whole set of sermons on that. now in fairness to them he places that in a very christian context. you as we were watching this he had pretty interesting little
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conversations now we'll share with the rest of the world. but it is in fact commercialism, it's not for everybody. you heard him speak about "i hope you can buy this tape" actually he way praying when he said that. well as a matter of fact, it's being recorded there is one of those pneumatic tube things and when you it goes whoosh through tube it's out there and ready to be bought as you leave the church from the place out front. other critiques i've heard, you go in and if you maybe taken up way, way up in the balcony in which there's huge screen tvs and they have many different ministries and of course they have daycare there and some people are put off because just like they do tornado warnings at the bottom of the screen, well you may get a warning a parent of child 632, you're child is screaming please come to the daycare center. for some that could undercut the christian experience but not for an awful lot of people who are looking for that kind of relevance.
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>> it brings theater into the church setting. >> and the theater has been a very important part of the church for centuries upon centuries. >> oh, sure it has. >> you see we've got drama; we've got music, the whole thing. yes janet. >> it started way back to the myth. because nobody is going to buy a myth unless you make the story interesting to hear. >> exactly, that's what we are saying. is it can't be for everybody and in a free, in a diverse society of course it's not going to be for everybody but that's why when you have the freedom to get in the long traffic line to get in there and go visit it or go someplace else. i can't imagine a member of bishop thomas or brother mark in st. macarius monastery out in the deserts of egypt a good christian. i can't imagine him having a real good time hanging out at that particular church. but both places really do maintain an authentic christianity for them, and that's all that we are saying here, it's balancing those dilemmas of institutionalization within that ecological mix it. >> i have a couple of questions.
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that one that you taped was that a sunday sermon or was that an extra? >> saturday evening. >> saturday evening. >> that's the hot one. >> so what they repeated that sunday morning? >> i should add that there are several other ministries and this is the one, saturday night one is where they bring in a lot of new comers. that's where it's most entertaining. now there's other services and the people who are part of the church they are much more typically i don't want to say benevolent, but more low key, something along those lines. >> so, what ever it is it's working? >> oh yes. >> seeing the number of people that are there who might not otherwise attend but - and if it saves a troubled marriage, god bless them. >> yes, it is something to listen to, without a doubt. susanna you had a - >> well really i go to a number of retreats and things and speakers are routinely taped and you can buy them after and there is nothing wrong with that, i don't see it. they've done, what any parish that had pots of money and wanted to focus it on their belief,
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their core beliefs could do. and i really don't see anything wrong with that. i've bought things for moving as it went along and when i used to hear henry nowin preaching at the university of notre dame, i wished to heaven they had taped that so you could get it after church. but - and i think the concern about the rising divorce rate was clearly what was behind their wanting to focus on that long time and yet to say the word divorce was a little indelicate and that didn't actually happen. but, our reading in church last sunday was the gospel story about the wealthy man who was wondering what he was going to do because he had such a great crop, by george he didn't know, he didn't have barns big enough. so he's main problem in life that day was to figure out what to do with it, and he thought "phew! i will build bigger barns." that's what i will do, and then after i've got all in this big barns, i will have all my friends over and share all this stuff with my friends, and we can all rejoice the times are so good. and what god said to the man was he called him foolish.
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he said, "you're life is required of you this night, so it doesn't matter about your big barn." and the whole point of living was supposed to be what you did with it and we had a dialogue that sunday. so one of the men stood up and said, "we regard ourselves as stewards that we don't really own it and it's what's you do with it that mters." >> well let me pick that up in the next class we've just ran out of time believe it or not - >> oh i'm so sorry. >> - it's okay suzie.
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Mosaic World News
LINKTV November 15, 2012 7:30pm-8:00pm PST

News/Business. English news reports from Middle Eastern broadcasters.

TOPIC FREQUENCY Us 11, Chicago 7, Sheryl Pero 4, Lord 4, Bill Hybels 2, Sheryl 2, Tabor 2, Jesus Christ 2, Lowe 2, Martin King 1, Suzie 1, Susanna 1, Heaven 1, Elca 1, Unmarried People 1, Birmingham 1, Egypt 1, Tabor Lutheran 1, Illinois 1, Europe 1
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Scanned in San Francisco, CA, USA
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Tuner Channel 89 (615 MHz)
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on 11/16/2012